The State Administration of Cultural Heritage in Xi'an has announced it will rebuild a 1,300-year-old market in the city.
According to the construction company, Datang Xishi, the planned West Market will cover 33 hectares and cost RMB3.5 billion (US$460 million), and will be completed by 2010.
The market will be designed to give visitors a glimpse into the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), with two planned phases of construction. The first phase will include antique and souvenir shops, a museum, restaurants, reception centers for foreign visitors, and a supermarket and will be open to the public in June 2008.
The second phase will feature the culture and customs of the old Silk Road, according to the Datang Xishi, and will have space for offices and residential flats.
The Xi'an Tourism Bureau said that the aim of the development was to encourage visitors to spend longer periods of time in the region. (Source: CNTA)